Sunday, January 21, 2018

Diary in its 14th year

During this coming week we'll see the 14th anniversary of the first post on the Diary, writes Brian Byrne.

Much of the material in that first week came from reports of meetings of Kilcullen Community Action, notably a decision that KCA would not put in an objection to a planning application for the Brennans Hardware site.

The application by Donal Brennan and Pat Dunlea envisaged some 61 apartments, a shopping street, and open pedestrian spaces on the land currently occupied by the hardware store and the extensive warehousing sheds and yards behind it.

The Diary reported a fairly robust discussion on the issue. It's worthy of note that the project didn't ever materialise.

Other stories from the meeting included news that the sculpture for what was to become the Dun Ailine Interpretive Park at the site in Nicholaston formerly known as 'The Fingerboard' would be in place in 2006 (it actually wasn't erected until 2008).

There were also concerns about a proposed composting plant at Silliot Hill, a warm welcome for a proposal to refurbish Liffey View house as offices which 'would bring the listed Georgian building back to its former splendour' (hasn't happened), and a complaint about the level of street cleaning by Kildare County Council in Kilcullen.

There was a robbery that week in Super Valu, we reported that a seat was stolen from Logstown, and a KCA plan to lower the Convent wall (above) was 'nearly ready'.

Your editor's aunt, Carmel Byrne, passed away, as also did 91-year-old Jack Bathe, who had spent most of his working life with the Guinness brewery in Dublin after leaving Kilcullen at the age of 27.

We got an explanation from Kildare County Council's then spokesman, Charlie Talbot, on the lowering of the speed limit on the Kilcullen-Naas road, following the change-over to metric signage.

It was all in all a busy first week of what was then A Kilcullen Diary (we dropped the 'A' some years ago). And it has only got busier every year since. For the statistical nerds amongst us — including your editor — in the past 12 months the Diary has had 1.8m page views, 90pc of which were by Kilcullen people at home, and 70pc of the total readers are between the ages of 35-64. Putting that into perspective, I think we got something like six page views a day during that first week.

There's a lot more good stuff like that, but it would be boring to most people, so let's just say 'Happy Birthday, Diary'.